Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hefty ransom payments feeding surge in Somali piracy (News Feature)


Nairobi Mogadishu - Piracy off the coast of Somalia reached new heights last week when four ships - German, Japanese, Iranian and Malaysian - were seized within 48 hours. Yet this may not represent the peak of pirate activity as gunmen with possible links to Islamic insurgents cram into the Gulf of Aden to get their share of the hefty ransoms shipping firms pay out for their ships and crews. 'For many years, piracy was simply robbery, but now it has changed,' Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Programme told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. We told people not to pay ransoms, but they started paying, he continued. Other gunmen realized that they can earn money and started taking ships hostage instead of robbing them. Authorities in Somalia have also called on shipping companies and governments not to pay ransoms, but the sums of money changing hands have gone up and up. Mwangura said that the pirates were now largely ignoring African ships and going for the big money jobs - cargo ships and tankers owned by international shipping lines or tourists in their luxury yachts. The going rate now appears to be around one million dollars - the figure paid this month to secure the release of two German tourists who were seized from their yacht in June. With such big money on offer, the number of pirates operating off the Somali coast has soared in the last three years. According to Mwanguras figures, there were fewer than 100 gunmen operating in 15 groups in 2005. Now there 160 groups with a total of up to 1,200 pirates operating in Somalia coastal waters. The pirates, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, launch speedboats from motherships to pursue their targets. Crew members are rarely killed - they are far more valuable alive - and the pirates generally put their fire across the bow of the ship to force it to stop, but incidents do happen. Malaysian shipping line MISC on Monday confirmed that a Filipino crew member died in an accident as pirates seized control of the Bunga Melati Dua last Tuesday. But, perhaps most worryingly for Somalia weak government and its Ethiopian allies, Mwangura believes that at least some of the ransom money is finding its way into the hands of Islamist insurgents currently wreaking havoc in the Horn of African nation. The big question is where does the money go? Mwangura said. We think they are collecting money going to fund other projects onshore ... we can say they are doing this on behalf of organized crime and for terrorist activities.The peak in piracy has coincided with a gathering of strength among insurgent groups. Somalia has been in a state of anarchy since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. But the situation had steadily deteriorated since the end of 2006, when Somalia transitional government and its Ethiopian allies ousted the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab, the armed wing of the UIC, has been fighting an increasingly bloody battle since then, and last Friday captured the strategic port town of Kismayo, one of Somalia biggest settlements. Ironically, piracy fell during the six months the UIC controlled Mogadishu as the strict religious body brought relative order. Yet with the government in charge, piracy is now a potentially useful tool for the insurgents. The seven ships currently being held by pirates represent a potential seven million dollars that could partly finance the insurgency. Yet the government is powerless to stop the piracy. It is too busy with daily battles in Mogadishu and has no navy to speak of. The United Nations Security Council in June approved incursions into Somali waters to combat the pirates. But despite the resolution, and recent interventions by a coalition warships, piracy has continued to climb. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) believes the situation is on the verge of spiralling out of control and wants nations with warships in the area to take the UN resolution to heart Few nations have responded to the resolution so far, even though there have been warships in the general area, but this looks set to change. The US Naval Central Command on Friday said it had ordered the set up of Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) - basically coalition warships backed by aircraft - to patrol the Gulf of Aden. The idea is to deter destabilizing activities in the area,Lt Stephanie Murdoch, a spokesperson for the central command told dpa. This includes drug smuggling, human trafficking and of course piracy.Murdoch refused to reveal the size of the force for security reasons. Considering the IMB on Tuesday warned that three pirate motherships were believed to be lurking in the Gulf of Aden looking for more commercial ships to attack, the new force should have ample opportunity to prove its worth. 'Mogadishu - Piracy off the coast of Somalia reached new heights last week when four ships - German, Japanese, Iranian and Malaysian - were seized within 48 hours. Yet this may not represent the peak of pirate activity as gunmen with possible links to Islamic insurgents cram into the Gulf of Aden to get their share of the hefty ransoms shipping firms pay out for their ships and crews.
'For many years, piracy was simply robbery, but now it has changed,' Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. more..http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1427017.php/Hefty_ransom_payments_feeding_surge_in_Somali_piracy__News_Feature_
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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